‘The water is creeping in’

24102012023IT has been a global and endless debated issue, yet governments come to no conclusion.

Sea level rise as it is known; due to Climate Change impact is now invading our beautiful Islands and homes.

This is an irresistible issue around the globe and the big guys have no choice but to find solutions.

The real life issue wedged much on human race and the environment around us.

It has been a worry and governments have been trying to make recommendations to adapt to its (climate change) impact.

We can’t stop climate change impact, however, we have to shift ourselves to adapt to it.

Climate change, perhaps the greatest threat to the Pacific Ocean’s health, jeopardizes all aspects of the Pacific Ocean and its communities’ sustainability.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said at the recent Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) in Honiara that the issue of the adverse effects of climate change needs political will and concerted leadership.

Pacific islands leaders were retold that the issue of resettlement of our Pacific Islands people as a result of sea level rise is critically important to our region.

“This issue cannot be dealt with solely at programmatic level within the many regional bodies that are present with us today (Tuesday last week); neither can it be reworked by our respective national agencies.

“The PIDF is uniquely placed to offer this space political commitment and concerted leadership.

“The link between political commitment, concerted leadership, technical knowledge and innovative solution is present within the PIDF.

“This mix can be blended and brought together to deal with this pressing issue of climate change,” he said.

Sogavare revealed that there has been some genuine progress on the issues of climate change through the support by development partners like UNESCAP and the EU.

“I have observed that our development partners, which some of them are attending the PIDF, in particular UNESCAP and the EU have made genuine progress on this issue of climate change and the PIDF, under my Chairmanship will ride on the bandwagon of their partnership in this strategic approach.”

It’s good to hear Sogavare mentioned that there is genuine progress on the issue of climate change which crushed wildly on Pacific Islands small states.

This issue of climate change which resulted in sea level rise is a must-dealt-with stuff to ensure our vulnerable pacific Islands communities are not swallowed.

Increasing sea surface temperature, sea level rise, and ocean acidification all result from increased CO2levels.

Pacific countries have already identified strong effects of ocean warming, changes in ocean circulation, and abrupt shifts in precipitation patterns.

The bleaching and subsequent deaths of reef-building corals caused by warm water pulses have destroyed reef ecosystems.

Shifts in ocean and atmospheric currents have created massive dead zones or changed migration patterns of whales and seabirds.

In addition, decreasing pH levels due to CO2acidosis are shifting the ecological balance of marine plankton and bottom dwelling species that form calcium skeletons.

Some ocean areas have already acidified to levels known in laboratory studies to cause harm to ocean life.

The rates of current environmental change caused by climate change far outpace anything seen in human history—and will likely accelerate in the near future.

Homes in Malaita at the edge of the ocean. Photo: www.newscientist.com.

Sea level rise as caused by Climate change cause great destructions to the environment and impact on humankind.

It has broken down sea walls, flooded villages, inundated food-producing land and contaminated freshwater wells.

Houses have collapsed with coastline erosion, tree cover has declined, increasing human and plant vulnerability to the intense tropical sun and, day by day, people’s energy is consumed more by basic survival.

According to research it stated that the impact of climate change was first noticed on Ontong Java in the 1990s for the Solomon Islands.

“Satellite data shows the sea near the Solomon Islands has risen annually by 8mm over the past 20 years, compared to the global annual average of 3mm.

“Ontong Java in Malaita Province possesses a total land area of 12 square kilometres, is an average two metres above sea level, with a population of about 3000.

Since 2010, the Anglican Church of Melanesia has worked on improving food security for its Polynesian communities.

“The main problem is saltwater intrusion into the soil,” George Bogese, ACOM’s mission aid and program officer, explained in the capital Honiara.

“The fear of the people of Ontong Java is they will eventually lose the islands that have sustained them for thousands of years.

“For the Solomon Islands government, climate change is the most critical development issue facing the nation, and it is now bracing for the impact of climate-induced migration.

“Who will make the final decision on migrants’ fate? In a nation where 87% of land is under customary care, not state ownership, can enough land be secured for new settlements?

“In a least developed country, where will the money and capacity come from to relocate an entire island’s population? It is worrying.

“The Solomon Islands government aims to have its first climate change relocation policy completed by the end of the year, but there will be formidable challenges in implementation,” according to Crikey report.

Climate change taking its toll on Ontong Java Island, Malaita. Photo: marketbusinessnews.com.

Island communities in the Pacific Ocean are facing unprecedented challenges to their economies and environment from the impacts of climate change, according to a new report released at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar.

“Sea level rise, tropical cyclones, floods and drought, combined with pressures from unsustainable fishing practices and coastal development, and consumption and production trends, are rendering the livelihoods of some 10 million people increasingly vulnerable.

“Low-lying islands in particular could face projected losses of up to 18 per cent of GDP due to climate change.

“The report recommends actions to enforce legislation, improve the availability of environmental data, and strengthen environmental institutions to help meet the major climate change challenges facing the Pacific region.

“The study highlights successful efforts to create community-managed conservation areas, such as marine parks, which have used indigenous knowledge to improve recycling, energy efficiency and sustainable water use. Such techniques can be scaled up, and serve as a model for other regions, said the report.